Headford Lace Project in association with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture present Lace Matrix. A Small Towns Big Ideas project.
Lace Matrix was commissioned by Headford Lace Project in collaboration with the artist, Róisín de Buitléar, as part of Galway2020 Small Towns Big Ideas programme. It is a community-inspired permanent sculpture based on the lace history of the town and the vibrant community activity that happens there.
“Lace Matrix is a community inspired permanent sculpture based on the lace history of the town of Headford and the incredible community activity of all kinds that goes on there. Without revealing too much before it’s unveiling, the concept of the work is a collaborative approach to an ever-changing story of lace in the town. As Headford Lace Project uncover their lost lace history fragment by fragment, they are rebuilding their tradition thread by thread. A more inspiring group you couldn’t meet, reinventing how lace is perceived through drama, songs, dance, exhibitions and educational bobbin lacemaking classes.” says Róisín.
“Understanding what you have locally is key to drawing out the best of traditional skills. For that reason, I’m working with traditional farmgate maker Forge Metal Works on this piece who works locally making the most beautiful gates. He is a knowledge on ironmongery and traditional styles. It’s been an incredible time, and I’m honoured to have been able to work with him and his assistant Simon. We’ve been working remotely through sketches photos and WhatsApp conversations filled with ironmongery and lace, trying to capture the finesse of lace in this work, while respecting the vernacular styles of ironmongery of the area.”
Róisín is currently working on a threading pattern for the sculpture which will be strung using a series of knots and lacemaking techniques in collaboration with the Headford Lace Project. It is intended that the sculpture can be restrung using many different patterns over time, developed by different people. Using traditional bobbin lacemaking techniques, this giant lace work signals the importance of lace to Headford’s history. It presents an opportunity to design and develop contemporary lace design ideas for temporary installations, developing connections and lacemaking relationships extending the concept of an ever-growing matrix.
Despite ongoing Covid restrictions, Headford Lace Project is still hoping for an unveiling in April. Keep an eye on www.headfordlaceproject.ie and social media where we will be providing updates.